July 16, 2001 12:00 PM

Power of Attorney

“I’ve spent my life as ‘Where’s Waldo’ in casts with all these big stars,” says actor Kevin Pollak, 43, who pops up alongside Eddie Murphy in Dr. Dolittle 2. “My wife has a theory that as long as the leading man needs a best friend or an attorney, I’ll always have work.” Indeed, Pollak, who has shared the screen with Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Denzel Washington, returns to the courtroom in Dolittle as a villainous lawyer. “One of my best friends is a D.A.,” says Pollak, who estimates that he has played more than a dozen lawyers, “and he says, ‘You’ve [put in more time as] an attorney than I have, and I’ve been an attorney for 20 years.”

Parental Guidance

Just like its predecessor, the gross-out comedy Scary Movie 2 isn’t likely to be a critical darling, and Shawn Wayans hopes his mom, Elvira, is among the flick’s detractors. “Our mother walked out in the middle of the first Scary Movie,” says Wayans, 30, who reteamed with brother Marlon to cowrite and costar in the film, directed by their older brother Keenen Ivory Wayans. “She stood up in the theater and whispered to us, ‘This is too disgusting for me, boys. How will I show my face in church?’ ” Considering that the film went on to gross more than $150 million, Wayans is praying for a repeat performance. “Moms’ walking out is our good luck charm,” he says. “If we see her standing at this premiere, Marlon, Keenen and I will stand up, raise a fist in the air and go, ‘Yes, we got another hit!’ ”

Little Girl Lost

Téa Leoni needed no preparation to play a mother hunting for her missing son in the dino sequel Jurassic Park III, opening July 18. “They’re naming my No. 1 nightmare in this movie: What would happen if my child would go missing?” says Leoni, who has a daughter, Madelaine West, 2, with husband David Duchovny. “Of course, it’s not likely my child would be off on an island with dinosaurs. I’ve thought more about ‘What if I left her on top of the car at Starbucks and drove off?’ That’s the fear.” Leoni has another reason to stay close to her daughter: Madelaine doubles as Mom’s personal trainer. “I hate to work out,” says Leoni, 35. “I like to play games. My daughter and I have the most intense games of hide-and-seek. Her counting is like, ‘1, 2, 10!’ You have to hightail it out of there. That works out the glutes good.”

Dysfunction Junction

After battling with her screen sister Emily Watson in Hilary and Jackie and son Johnny Depp in Blow, Rachel Griffiths hooks up with another dysfunctional family in HBO’s new dark comedy Six Feet Under. The Australian actress, who plays Peter Krause’s quirky girlfriend Brenda, has also dealt with her own family turmoil—her father left home when she was a child—but thanks to a pal, “I’ve had the great pleasure of being a fly on the wall of a functional family,” she says. “It’s quite a wondrous thing: open communication, genuine respect, love and acceptance. I think it’s rare—and inspiring.” Whenever the single Griffiths, 32, starts her own brood, she hopes to follow suit: “I want my kids to love family life so much that I’d have to say, ‘Okay, honey, it’s time to leave the nest.’ ”

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